1:24 AM EST, January 7, 2010
The recruiting process for the big stars is easy. At least it is from an exposure standpoint. It's never easy taking 20 phone calls a day from coaches and media types asking virtually the same questions over and over.
But everyone knows who they are and the people come to them.
For the not-so-fortunate players, however -- those who are talented enough to play at the next level yet lack the exposure on national prospect rankings boards and Web sites -- the process is a little more difficult.
If the standout recruits think it's difficult dealing with multiple phone calls every day, they should trade places for a day with 6-foot-6, 245-pound Mount Dora TE/DE Bruce Heggie. His phone never rings, but he keeps hoping.
"I just want to play football somewhere, on scholarship," Heggie said. "I don't care where it is."
The where for Heggie is still up in the air … as it is for Winter Park RB/DB Zee Ware.
Ware, a bit small at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, will likely have a track scholarship to fall back on following the spring season, but he still wants to play football.
"Right now I'm still in the process of finishing my highlight tape," said Ware, who was a bit of a late bloomer, but ended up with just over 400 yards of total offense and numerous big plays on defense for the state quarterfinalist Wildcats. "I started offense and defense and if I compile all that together and try to make a good tape, maybe something will come of it."
It takes marketing themselves for these "borderline players." They have to find a place where a school might have a scholarship available.
Heggie started his senior year with big aspirations, as did the Mount Dora football team. The Hurricanes had top players like Heggie, ATH Jordan Ozerities and WR Cornelius Whitehead coming back off a team that went 5-4 in 2008 and was looking for bigger things with new coach Chad Grabowski.
Before the season started, Whitehead and Ozerities committed to UCF and Heggie seemed to be a natural to follow. But then he got hurt. An aggravating a groin injury caused him to miss his first three games.
He bounced back after that and Mount Dora managed a 6-4 mark this season, but well below what folks in Lake County had hoped. He caught 16 passes, three for touchdowns, as a tight end, and had four sacks from defensive end. He also works hard off the field with a 4.2 GPA and an All-Academic All-State Award.
Heggie had a great camp at Florida State this summer and it left him with big thoughts. His father played at FSU and even played for then-current coaches Bobby Bowden and Chuck Amato. FSU however, like all the other big schools, are nowhere to be found now.
"There's still the FAMU deal and I've been in touch with Arkansas State. They called and said they liked what they saw on my film, but no promises yet," Heggie said Tuesday night. "Other than that nothing really new."
It can wear on athletes mentally. At least most schools tell the athletes they have no scholarships left instead of saying 'we don't want you' or 'you are not good enough.'
"It's frustrating, but all I can do right now is do the best I can … like contacting a lot of people and sending my film out and I've also been doing a lot of training," Heggie said. "A few have blown me off, but for some of them, because I got my film out so late ... getting late exposure is what hurt me. That's what UCF said. They offered me a preferred walk-on spot."
Ware has interest from schools like Louisiana Tech, Charleston Southern and Mars Hill.
"It's really all up in the air 'cause I really like track too, but if I can go to college and do track and football, I would love to do that," Ware said. "Our track coach has a lot of schools looking at me this year and I'm really excited about that."
At least Ware has options. For Heggie, they are running out. He plans a visit to FAMU on Jan. 30.
"All I can do is just pray for the best. He told me they were going to offer and I haven't heard anything," Heggie said of FAMU. "I'm sure I'll get something by the time signing day rolls around. Right now I'm just hoping for the best."
Chris Hays is the recruiting coordinator for the Sentinel. He can be reached at email@example.com. Check out all of the Sentinel's recruiting news at OrlandoSentinel.com/recruiting.
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